Careless handling of fire crackers may turn a happy Diwali into a terrible tragedy, leading not just to injuries, but sometimes, even death. Even the simple diya can cause terrible burns. So, while you celebrate this wonderful festival of lights, be careful of them and handle them with respect. All accidents due to fireworks occur as a result of carelessness, negligence and ignorance. But these can certainly be avoided by observing some very simple precautions.
- Buy good-quality fireworks which have been legally manufactured. Don’t try to make them at home.
- Light fireworks outside the house, in an open area, taking care to avoid crowded areas. If possible, organize a community display where they are lit by professionals while all of you can sit and watch it. Only one person at a time should light the fireworks.
- Dress appropriately. It is best to avoid synthetic clothes which catch fire easily. Thick cotton clothes are best. Also avoid long flowing garments and trailing scarves and dupattas which can catch fire from diyas and candle which have been placed on the ground.
- Never carry firecrackers in your pockets. Also don’t store or stack them near lighted candles and diyas.
- Never light fireworks while holding them in your hand. Neither must you bend over them while lighting them. You can use a long candle to light them. Keep flower pots and charkhis flat on the ground while lighting. Point rockets away from the house and towards open areas while lighting them. If a firework doesn’t burn properly, don’t go near it, or pick it up in your hands. Sometimes, it could still be live. Throw these duds into a bucket of water to make them safe. Never throw used or misfired crackers into a bonfire.
- Don’t fool around with fireworks. Don’t throw them or point them at people. This is foolhardy and very dangerous.
- Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. So try to avoid drinking near fireworks and bonfires.
- Never allow children less than five years to hold firecrackers. Always supervise children when they are playing with fireworks. Keep a bucket of water close by.
- In case of burns, immediately pour water on the burnt area. In case of eye burns, splash tap water on the eyes and take the person to a hospital. In case of major burns, try and remove smoldering clothes. If it is sticking to the skin, don’t do anything, but take the victim immediately to the hospital for treatment. It is best to go to a burns specialist or to a major hospital.
- If you have a pet, remember that pets hate bangs and flashes and get very frightened. Closing all curtains and shutting the windows, may help to shut out the light and noise, and keep your pet calm.
Be careful and calm and have a happy and safe Diwali.